BUSINESS leaders in Marlow have backed the idea of a new business park near Little Marlow - but insist more needs to be done to revitalise existing premises to keep Marlow competitive.

Marlow Chamber of Commerce has submitted its official response to Wycombe District Council’s Local Plan consultation, which is looking for feedback on where to build thousands of new homes and businesses in the district.

After looking at ways to improve business and tourism in the town, members concluded it was necessary to improve Globe Park business centre and expand beyond the town’s eastern border.

And the Chamber’s chairman Tim Graham says investment in bringing new businesses to Marlow is increasingly necessary in the face of the major new hub development underway at Handy Cross.

He said: "While primarily addressing the needs of the business community, the chamber deals with issues relating not only to business but residential matters and those affecting tourism and visitors to Marlow and its surrounding.

"While there is a substantial development occurring to the north side of the M40 in high Wycombe, the Chamber believes that the Marlow business community and Globe Park can sustain a thriving business community and there can be further expansion in the area of land at Westhorpe Park."

Mr Graham said parking and access at the Globe Park business centre is a real problem, suggesting a dedicated feeder lane to the site from the A404 to allow easier traffic flow.

And with large parts unoccupied and "unattractive" to new businesses, he said investment in the area needs to be made to attract and keep growing firms to Marlow.

The Chamber are also calling for a park and ride system from Globe Park and any new development at Westhorpe Park to the town centre to boost trade and cut down on traffic.

See next week’s Marlow Free Press for more reaction to WDC’s Local Plan consultation, which is looking for ways to build between 500 and 700 new homes and employment spaces every year between now and 2031 to keep up with growth in the district.